In the Beginning
Morgan Connelly’s cries for help sent icy fingers racing up and down
fourteen-year-old Josh Campbell’s spine. They filtered through two grubby ears
into his half-mad mind and pulled him back from a happy vision of home. Back to the reality of thick smoke, flames and the savage sea battle raging around him.
The image of her white face seared through his red-rimmed eyes and her
screams made his stomach queasy. Blood spurted out of her left shoulder around
the long black shaft protruding out of her dirty pink blouse. It ran down her
arm and formed into a pool around her slumped body. For a minute that seemed to stretch forward into eternity, the limp figure of his best friend made Josh feel
that he was in the middle of a nightmare.
Morgan’s sapphire eyes fluttered closed and Josh thought she was
dead. His last meal of fish and bread spurted out of his mouth, poured out his
nose and mingled with the expanding red pool.
Another ballista stone smashed into the deck somewhere behind him.
More screams of pain filled the smoke laden air. This never-ending moment of
terror was too much for his young mind to comprehend and it retreated once
again to the safe, secure haven of his classroom.
The events that had led him to this fateful hour of destruction
flashed before his eyes. Starting with the day he discovered the ancient,
leather bound volume.